Release Number 8023-19
September 30, 2019
CFTC Charges Individual with Multi-Million Dollar Bitcoin Fraud
Washington, DC — knowingly or recklessly making false representations to customers in connection with the purported purchase of bitcoin worth over $7 million. contrary to Thompson’s false representations, neither he nor a company with which he was affiliated had possession or control of the bitcoin that was to be delivered to the customers. The complaint alleges that bitcoin was never delivered to the customers and customer funds were not safeguarded as promised.
induced two customers to send roughly $7 million to fund the purchase of bitcoin after making false representations that he or the company had the bitcoin in hand and the customers’ money would be safeguarded. After receiving the customers’ money, the complaint alleges, Thompson sent virtually all of the money to third parties without first receiving any bitcoin in return. It is further alleged that after taking the customers’ money and failing to provide any bitcoin in return, Thompson lied to the customers about the location of the bitcoin, the reasons the transaction was not completed, and the status of the customers’ money.
Earlier today a criminal indictment against Thompson was returned in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. See United States v. Jon Barry Thompson a/k/a “J. Barry Thompson”, 19 CR 698 (S.D.N.Y.). The CFTC thanks and acknowledges the assistance of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.